Fay Fuller Foundation / CEO
With a broad vision to support the health and wellbeing of South Australians, the Fay Fuller Foundation was established in 2003, funding nearly $25 million into community health in the state.
Today, the foundation’s CEO, Niall Fay, works to bring together individuals to address complex problems facing the community.
“The philanthropic sector has an immense capacity to create space and support change for social good, and it’s been my privilege over the last three years to build a foundation that puts community as part of its purpose, its mission, its values and its operational heart,” Fay said.
In 2021, the foundation won a Better Philanthropy Award for Our Town, which is a regional, long-term mental health and wellbeing initiative.
“We have also been acknowledged as leaders in the decolonisation of philanthropy, in supporting self-determination for Indigenous peoples in the health space, and generally championing community-led preventative mental health programs,” Fay said.
The 39-year-old said an important part of what he and his team do is to shift funding into community hands to reshape the way mental health and wellbeing is seen and addressed.
Fay also chairs the board of Adelaide-based tech company NQRY Pty Ltd and co-developed a program, STEMfooty, which uses sport to engage middle-school-aged children in STEM principles.
Favourite podcast? The Blindboy Podcast.
Firehouse Technology / Founder
Mihindukulasooriya immigrated to Adelaide three years ago, helped found software and technology platforms during a pandemic, and already has set his eyes on going global.
The 31-year-old Sri-Lankan-born software engineer had the aim of “democratising technology” to help small to medium businesses deal with and continue to trade under the devastating impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
One analytics product “is a revolutionary platform that combines a customer data platform with programmatic advertising that delivers enterprise-level tech to SMEs at an affordable price,” he said.
Another product delivered a livestock trading platform for overseas farmers whose livestock markets were shut down, with a version set to be introduced back home.
Besides securing the funding to build products and businesses operating in Adelaide and overseas, Nilan found overcoming staff resourcing in a pandemic the greatest challenge.
“We had to improvise and find remote team members, part-time members, third-party companies who work for a commission, etc,” he said.
“We have tried every approach in the book, and some not in the book. A few were successful and many were not. However, you only have to find the best way once.”
Best advice you’ve ever given? Nobody does great things – you do slightly better every day and greatness comes from it.
Lumination / Head of Education Programs
Marketer Rebecca Bendikov has helped local start-up Lumination grow quickly in its cutting-edge field of immersive technology.
The company started in a garage in Semaphore with two employees, with the goal of disrupting the conventional classroom way of doing things.
It now employs 40 people and works with defence, government and enterprise, as well as schools.
Bendikov joined the team in 2019 as head of marketing, but now leads the company’s education programs, working to introduce artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality to learning environments.
“In my career so far, I’ve been able to break down the barriers of the traditional classroom with schools who have proven to be early adopters,” she said.
“However, the broad application of VR, AR and AI technology in the commercial sector, including defence, mining, manufacturing and health care, is obvious and extensive.”
Bendikov, a board member of the Spence Club, a networking group for young SA women, said the technology presents a “huge growth opportunity” with the potential to have an enormous impact on industries in South Australia.
Favourite pastime/activity that isn’t related to your work? I absolutely love pub trivia! So much so that after many years of playing at pubs, my husband and I have started writing and delivering our own quiz nights.
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